Thanks to Bob Lamont for feeding me this one.
I’ve chosen what the headline should be, based on the UK Government’s decision to ignore expert advice from its own expert body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation . Headlines matter. We know that many only read them before moving on.
Two days ago, Matt Hancock admitted that England had vaccinated only 24% of care home residents and on the same day Jeanne Freeman said Scotland had vaccinated over 80%.
Months before, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was very clear that those who live in care homes were the top priority for vaccination against covid-19.
So, this prioritising, following the expert advice, in Scotland, of the most-at-risk care home residents, will have resulted in vaccination for those less-at-risk, because they are relatively isolated in their own homes, over-80s being slightly later.
In England, driven by a desire to get more through the door and to be able to claim world-beating and no doubt Jock-beating performance, they did not follow the expert advice.
If you read on the truth is there but it’s worded carefully and the headline has done its damage by then:
Scotland is receiving vaccines based on its share of the population but has its rollout to the over-80s been slower than England? The answer appears to be yes. But it is because it has pursued a different strategy, with Scotland making sure that care home residents and healthcare staff were at the top of the list. On the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday night, SNP MP Philippa Whitford said that more than 80% of care home residents had been vaccinated in Scotland and they were the number one priority group on the list drawn up by the JCVI, which advises on rollout across the UK.
See what they have done?
Just a ‘different‘ strategy not the ‘recommended‘ one?
Just the ‘JVCI‘, and ‘advises‘, not the ‘Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, an independent expert advisory committee‘ whose advice is almost always followed?
Imagine it was the other way round and the Scottish Government had ignored the advice of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation?